Marriott International has announced that its president and chief executive Arne Sorenson passed away on 15 February. He was 62.
In May 2019, the company announced that Sorenson had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and earlier this month the group said he was temporarily stepping back to allow him to undergo more demanding treatment.
Sorenson became the third chief executive in Marriott's history in 2012, and the first without the Marriott surname. During his tenure, he oversaw the $13b (£9.35b) acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts and steered Marriott to make significant progress on diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental sustainability and human trafficking awareness.
JW Marriott Jr, executive chairman and chairman of the board, said: "Arne was an exceptional executive – but more than that – he was an exceptional human being. Arne loved every aspect of this business and relished time spent touring our hotels and meeting associates around the world. He had an uncanny ability to anticipate where the hospitality industry was headed and position Marriott for growth. But the roles he relished the most were as husband, father, brother and friend.
"On behalf of the board and Marriott's hundreds of thousands of associates around the world, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Arne's wife and four children. We share your heartbreak, and we will miss Arne deeply."
Stephanie Linnartz and Tony Capuano, who stepped up to share responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the business while Sorenson was undergoing treatment, will continue in this capacity until the Marriott board appoints a new chief executive, which is expected to be within the next two weeks.